Local legislation has been updated several times to address issues such as the refusal of allowing a service dog in the workplace or to prohibit discrimination based on specific hairstyles.
All Nevada employees have the right to a safe work environment, and this includes being protected against any form of discrimination. Since the #MeToo movement began most headlines dealing with workplace discrimination refer to sexual harassment stories, but there are many other types of discrimination. Let’s have a look at the most common forms of discrimination that might warrant seeking legal advice from a Nevada employment lawyer and filing a complaint.
How does Nevada law define discrimination in the workplace?
The problem of workplace discrimination was first addressed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of this act prohibits any form of “employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin”.
The Nevada Fair Employment Practices Act adds several protected characteristics to the scope of the Civil Rights Act. For instance, the Nevada act specifically prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age and disability. Local legislation has been updated several times to address issues such as the refusal of allowing a service dog in the workplace or to prohibit discrimination based on specific hairstyles. An employee cannot be discriminated against for wearing afros, bantu knots, curls, braids or twists, which fall under ‘protective hairstyles’.
When should I hire an employment lawyer in Nevada?
If you have any questions about the Nevada laws on discimination, you should get in touch with a seasoned Las Vegas employment lawyer. That does not mean you will have to file a lawsuit, at least not right away.
As a matter of fact, the law requires you to file an internal complaint before taking the matter to court.
For instance, if you are sexually harassed in the workplace you should talk to your HR manager or your employer. It is their duty to investigate your complaint and take appropriate measures to put an end to your harassment. The law requires them to act promptly so if you don’t hear from them in a reasonable time, you have the right to take things further.
A sexual harassment lawyer with many years of expertise in this area can help you file an official complaint with the Nevada Civil Rights Commission or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if your attorney feels you should pursue the matter at federal level.
How are discrimination complaints settled?
When you file an official complaint at state or federal level, your case will be investigated by the relevant authority. In most cases, the EEOC offers to negotiate a settlement between you and your employer. At this stage, it is important to hire a tough lawyer, as your employer certainly will.
Sometimes negotiations fail, so the EEOC will decide to either file a lawsuit on your behalf, or to give you a ‘notice to sue’. This allows your lawyer to file a discrimination lawsuit. You can recover damages for your suffering as well as for lost wages, if you were fired. At the same time, you can get your old job back if you so desire.